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Iraq

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list contracts in excess of £500,000 his Department has entered into in connection with Iraq since the beginning of 2003; on what date each was entered into; whether the civilian contractor in each contract had military connections; what the nationality of each civilian contractor was in each case; what each contract was for; whether each contract was awarded following competitive bidding; whether work was wholly carried out in Iraq; and what estimate he has made in each case of the comparable cost of similar work carried out in the UK. (61481)

I will place three lists of contracts in the Library of the House. The first shows works contracted by the Multi-National Division (South-East) Civil Secretariat with total value in excess of £500,000, and wholly carried out in Iraq, from 2003, detailing the company, service provided, and date each contract was entered into. Second are those contracts let by the Defence Communications Service Agency for and in support of British operations in Iraq. And third are those contracts placed for movement of freight or personnel by air or surface means, awarded following competition. Two of these contracts (DTMA/CB/0803 and DTMA/CB/0813) were let for air support entirely within Iraq/surrounding area. Two further contracts (DTMA/CB/0703 and DTMA/CB/0720) were let specifically for aeromedical tasks between Cyprus and the UK. The remaining movement contracts were placed for the transport of freight/personnel mainly between the UK/Europe and Iraq/Gulf States in support of Op TELIC. Comparable costing for these is inappropriate. Further details are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which dates since February 2006 (a) he and (b) his Ministers have visited British soldiers injured in Iraq; and what locations were visited on each occasion. (80693)

Defence Ministers frequently visit members of the armed forces injured in Iraq. Since February Defence Ministers have visited injured personnel on four occasions as follows:

My predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Airdrie and Shotts (John Reid), visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base on 18 March 2006.

I too visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base, Iraq on 18 May 2006. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces visited injured personnel as part of his visit on 8-9 May 2006 to 7th Armoured Brigade in Germany.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Watson) visited the Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 16 June 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what average time has elapsed before inquiries into the deaths of British service personnel in Iraq have commenced. (80141)

The information requested is not held centrally and can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. However, the Service Police initiate an investigation immediately they are notified of the death of any member of the armed forces in Iraq. Wherever possible, it is their policy to issue an Initial Case Report within 24 hours of notification unless prevented by operational circumstances.